DUANE Eddy is in love with Sheffield.
And it’s a love affair that began while the guitar legend was driving around his hometown in Tennessee listening to the music of steel city musician Richard Hawley.
Unbeknown to Duane, the Sheffield singer behind hit albums Coles Corner and Lady’s Bridge was a huge fan of his work. And plans were afoot to bring Duane’s influential talent to a new generation, leading to the making of his first album in 25 years, in a Sheffield studio.
“My wife found it on the internet because he was using a Duane Eddy Gretsch guitar,” recalls Duane of the first time he caught Hawley’s styling.
“That caught her attention so we listened to him and fell in love with his music. I sent for a couple of albums and drove round town in Nashville playing them.
“I just really loved the wide open, big sound that he got and kept thinking ‘Man, I would fit right in with this sound, this would be nice to record with’. Or I’d hear a song and think ‘I wish I could have played that solo’.
“I told Richard that when we met him. That was the last moment of bliss he had.”
Hawley’s Grindleford-based manager arranged a meeting in Nashville and subsequently flew Duane over for a UK show where mutual admiration extended to the veteran musician and Hawley jamming and a record being discussed.
Now Duane is in the UK promoting the resultant album, Road Trip, and tonight plays a rare sold-out show for 100 people at tiny Sheffield venue The Greystones ahead of playing his first Glastonbury festival this weekend.